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Schools for Aspiring Pharmaceutical Sales Representatives: How to Choose

Pharmaceutical sales representatives inform physicians, hospitals and pharmacists about newly developed drugs. Pharmaceutical representatives also provide samples and take orders for these medications. Certificates in the field are available and are usually offered through a school's continuing education department.

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How to Select a Pharmaceutical Sales Representative School

Aspiring pharmaceutical sales representatives should determine whether a program's curriculum complies with the National Association of Pharmaceutical Representatives (NAPRx). NAPRx is not an accrediting agency, but offers the Certified National Pharmaceutical Representative (CNPR) credential, which certifies individuals as being knowledgeable about the laws and ethics of the field. Certification is not required to work in the field; however, it may enhance an individual's ability to find employment in the field after graduation.

Individuals should also research whether a school's program offers the CNPR examination. Many programs include preparation for the exam within the curriculum, as well as administration of the exam at the conclusion of the program. This could save money and time, as well as permit a graduate to enter the workforce quicker.

The majority of pharmaceutical representative certificate programs are offered online. Prospective students should determine whether they are able and willing to study online. Additionally, online programs may require specific computer software or hardware.

As pharmaceutical representation usually requires sales, individuals may want to choose a program that provides instruction in sales techniques. Building skills in public speaking, persuasion and interpersonal relationships may assist students in a successful sales representative career.

Pharmaceutical Sales Representative Program Overview

Pharmaceutical Sales Representative Certificate Programs

Certificate programs for pharmaceutical sales can require up to one year of study. The NAPRx approved curriculum consists of 14 topics covering drug research and development processes, anatomy, clinical pharmacology and therapeutic cases. Schools are individually permitted to divide and teach these 14 topics, but the majority of programs are uniform in their curriculum. Teachings also typically cover field sales, FDA guidelines and the legal aspects of pharmacology.

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